MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. It is dangerous to increase the gas transit through the Ukrainian gas transit system, because its wear is over 80%, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
"We have actually increased the supply via the Ukrainian gas transit system," he said, adding that the supply will be 10% more this year than stipulated in the transit contract.
"But one mustn’t increase it further. Everyone keeps hinting us: increase the supply through Ukraine even more. It is dangerous to increase it! The gas transit system there has not seen repairs for decades. If we increase the pressure, the pipe will probably just burst. Europe will be left without this route at all," Putin noted.
He explained that the wear of the Ukrainian gas transit system is above 80%.
"Nobody wants to listen to and hear anything; everyone only seeks to accuse Russia of something," the head of state concluded.
When asked who exactly makes such accusations against Russia, the president said: "Russia’s detractors."
"They can be in Europe, and they can also be in other countries," Putin noted.
Extention of gas transit in 2024
Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the extension of gas transit from Russia via Ukraine after 2024 was a purely economic issue, adding that this year’s volumes have already been increased beyond contract obligations.
"This is a purely economic issue as well. I have already said that Ukraine’s gas transport system is exhausted by around 80-85%, according to various estimations. <...> We have already increased [transit] by now, despite everything, despite the political differences. I have already said that the pumping volumes have been increased beyond our contract obligations by 10% this year," he said when asked a respective question.
Meanwhile, Putin noted the necessity to bring the gas transport system to normal state in order to keep and increase transit. "This concerns both [Russia] and European consumers, it also concerns Ukrainian operators," he said.
Vladimir Putin stressed that Moscow was ready to maintain the contract on gas transit via Ukraine and even increase supplies, but it should understand the volumes of purchases.
"Answering your question, I will say [that] we are ready to maintain this contract, even increase [supplies] if economic, technological conditions are created, we are ready to do it. But we should understand the scale of purchases," he said.
In particular, it is necessary to conclude contracts to understand the market volume, Putin emphasized. "If Europe turns away from hydrocarbons, particularly from gas in the future, how can we assume obligations on increasing transit via Ukraine today if Europe does not buy [it] from [Russia]. <...> Tell us how much you will buy, conclude contracts on volumes, then we will understand how much we can pump. <...> We should understand the market volume," he explained.